4 items from 2014
The idea that only a British director such as Steve McQueen with British stars could have made Hollywood confront America's slavery legacy is a popular one with fans of UK cinema. But is there any foundation for it?
The bookies, at least, are of one mind: Sunday's Oscars victor will be either Gravity or 12 Years a Slave. The space spectacular must surely rank as the greatest-ever achievement of British film craftsmanship; the Louisiana-set drama doesn't even qualify as a UK film. Nonetheless, Britain's cinema chauvinists aren't all rooting for Gravity. There is something about its rival that inspires yet fiercer patriotism.
Of course, unlike Gravity, Slave features British stars. But that doesn't fully explain its hold on British hearts. Something else is involved: after decades of guilty silence from Hollywood, many believe, a British director has laid bare America's historic shame. Steve McQueen's feat is thus a rare transatlantic putdown of the swaggering yanks. »
- David Cox
Singleton announced the news on twitter, saying: “The time has come to tell your story. I promise to keep it real and true to your sould. Bigg Js50 Niggaaz/Thug Life.”
The film follows the rapper’s rise to being one of the most popular MCs as well as his increased participation in the East Coast-West Coast Rap rivalry, and his death on September 7, 1996 when he was gunned down on a street corner in Las Vegas, where he died 6 days later. His murder was never solved.
“Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with,” Singleton said. “His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation.”
There’s still no »
- Laura Frances
The late director David R. Ellis was supposed to reteam with his Snakes on a Plane star for a live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime movie Kite. But since he died just before production was supposed to begin, South African director Ralph Ziman (Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema) had to take over the project. It's been a year since then, and now it sounds like the project is gearing up for the big screen release as Bloody Disgusting has gotten ahold of an early trailer for the film introduced by star Samuel L. Jackson, proclaiming his affection for the original work. There seems to be some cool action, but Jackson could just as easily be playing Shaft again in this film and there wouldn't be much of a difference. Watch it! First trailer for Ralph Ziman's Kite, discovered by Bloody Disgusting (see a 5-minute clip there too): Kite »
- Ethan Anderton
There continues to be talk of the all-women version of The Expendables, so why not an all-black version? Actually, there already kinda was one way back in 1996. Blaxploitation stars Fred Williamson (Black Caesar; Hell Up in Harlem), Pam Grier (Foxy Brown; Coffy), Jim Brown (Slaughter; The Dirty Dozen), Ron O’Neal (Super Fly) and Richard Roundtree (Shaft) and director Larry Cohen (Black Caesar; Hell Up in Harlem) came together for a movie titled Original Gangstas. It was sort of what The Expendables is all about now — nostalgia for the action movies of the ’80s and early ’90s with a round up of legendary action heroes who are now middle-aged or older — but then, it was in tribute to the African-American-focused genre of the ’70s as well as an answer to the rise of the urban crime films that broke out through the early work of John Singleton, the Hughes Brothers and Mario Van Peebles, the »
- Christopher Campbell
4 items from 2014